Magazine article Tikkun

The Persistent Progressive: Tikkun at Twenty!

Magazine article Tikkun

The Persistent Progressive: Tikkun at Twenty!

Article excerpt

IMAGINE THE WORLD IN 1986. THE SOVIET UNION IN full flower behind the Berlin Wall; the Internet but a gleam in Al Gore's eye; the first cases of a strange new auto-immune disease that some doctors are calling AIDS; no cell phones; no Teen People magazine; Ronald Reagan and conservative Republicanism in ascendancy; and Tikkun launched as a fresh, challenging, progressive voice.

Fast forward to 2006. The Berlin Wall gone; the Soviet Union collapsed; cell phones and the Internet ubiquitous; HrV/AIDS a global pandemic; Teen People come (and gone); Conservative Republicanism in impending decay; and Tikkun- still afresh, challenging, progressive voice.

In the midst of all the changes in the last twenty years, Tikkun has not only survived, but thrived as a persistent, consistent progressive voice in the political and cultural debates over the role of the United States and of the Jewish people in the world.

Why?

Because of Michael Lerner's passionate, energetic, and innovative perspective with which Tikkun was founded, and which keeps it original and provocative.

I am proud to say that I am Michael's brother-in-law, having married his sister Trish (with whom I co-publish Tikkun). And I can testify from personal experience that Michael's take on the world has not changed in the nearly forty years I have known him. I recently re-read a letter that Michael had written to me shortly after Trish and I were married, after he'd learned that I was planning to take a position as a pup lawyer in a major corporate law firm in New York City. In his letter, he carefully and thoughtfully advised me that I was making a major mistake that I would regret for the rest of my life. Michael described a world marred by poverty, disease, social injustice and a tragically misguided war policy in Vietnam. There could be no higher or more satisfying calling, he urged, than for me to use my legal education and skills to help heal that world. Working at a big law firm serving major corporate interests would make the world a harsher- not better- place.

I did not take Michael's advice, and I went on to serve as the corporate general counsel of CBS in the 1980s, then of Fox and AOL in the 1990s, finally moving to the civic sector full-time in 2001. …

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